Rudolf Eickemeyer, Jr., One of the Early Founders

A titan of late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century photography and a lifelong resident of Yonkers, Rudolf Eickemeyer, Jr. (1862–1932) was a leading member of the Yonkers Art Association, a group of local artists dedicated to fostering art in the community, and one of the early advocates for the formation of the Museum.

Eickemeyer would become one of the first commissioners of the Museum (then called Yonkers Museum of Science and Arts). With his input, the Museum presented its first photography exhibition in 1928, organized by the Yonkers Camera Club, which became an annual event for several years. In 1924, while the staff was preparing for opening in Glenview, Eickemeyer contributed to the emerging Museum’s collection by donating the first of several models of hat-making machines created by his father, Rudolf Eickemeyer, Sr., as well as a souvenir piece of the famous transAtlantic telegraph cable.

Eickemeyer became famous for his later works showing picturesque landscapes and portraits of high-society women, especially those of model and singer Evelyn Nesbit. The Museum has a collection of more than 200 of Eickemeyer’s photographs, including a copy of his most famous Nesbit photograph, Tired Butterfly.

 

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Image: Rudolf Eickemeyer, with Sir Toby Belch, ca. 1924. Photograph. Gift of the Estate of H. Armour Smith (61.13.194).